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Guest FriendofGreece

Promotion of Greek exports

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Guest FriendofGreece

The EU sanctions against Russia have hurt Greece's exports when it needs any boost it can in these tough times. Greece has quality produce that it can export to other countries, such as olive oil, olives, feta cheese, honey, etc. In addition to tourism, Greece can try to expand exports to Asian countries. No need always to rely on the EU which does everything to squeeze Greece.

 

http://cyprus-mail.com/2015/12/17/greek-promoter-offers-cypriots-trade-space-in-china/

 

"The centre will consist of buildings that will house national pavilions and Greece and Cyprus will be the first honoured countries, Kaperonis said.

The first building complex measuring 120,000 square meters has been completed and will be inaugurated during a ceremony in July after which products and services of participating Greek and Cypriot companies will be exhibited in the showroom, and their data posted on an electronic platform to promote their advertising and sales in China’s wider market and Asia. The entry fee for three years and lease for a minimum 9 square meters is €6,000 per year."

 

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I think that Greece is already exporting quite a bit to China and has formed several trade agreements with them since a few years ago. Problem is that Greece doesn't produce enough quantities of most of these products to export directly, or in other cases don't have the technologies to mass produce some products.  For example, I know from friends who are in the business that most of our top quality olives go to Italy where they're pressed and produce top quality olive oil which is then sold as "Italian" olive oil to markets around the globe.

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Guest FriendofGreece

What stops the government from helping farmers to produce in bigger quantities or to help invest in the necessary technologies? Isn't there enough land in Greece for bigger production? Aren't there interested investors?

 

It is unfortunate that Greek olives are used to make "Italian" olive oil. Somehow I have always considered Greek olive oil much better than the Italian one.

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IMO the best export possibility for Greece is IT services, the talent is there, but the infrastructure and promotion is lacking. 

 

A possible smart move would be to create mini silicon valleys on some of the larger Islands, and not only create jobs for Greeks but also do it in a way that some of the smartest IT minds go work there to make up for the brain drain that has occurred the past 5+ years.

 

The challenge with many of the exports and industries Greece has focused on are not huge money makers. You can only make so much off tomatoes, olives, ....

 

The tourism industry is great to create jobs and bring in foreign capital, but the jobs the industry creates are low wage jobs and many of them are seasonal.

 

Shipping Industry to a large extend has not created as many jobs as they claim, the ships are full of workers from third world countries, huge % of the ships fly a non-Greek flag, and the Ship industry has worked hard to prevent the industry from paying fair taxes.

 

Greece needs to invest and try to develop services and products in the technology field, it seems hard to imagine this for a few people, but it is a field that is constantly changing with lots of innovation.

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Guest FriendofGreece

Thanks for your input, Dino, these are great observations and suggestions. About exporting IT services, how is that done?

 

Surely Greece needs to think strategically which areas to concentrate. Manufacturing and agriculture are limited. Tourism is low pay. Shipping escapes taxation. Maybe develop and export solar and wind energies? Greece has so many sunny days in a year. Those need investments, though.

 

As diaspora Greeks, you have boundless innovative ideas and energy, and can certainly pinpoint where are the strengths and weaknesses. Mini silicon valleys in the big islands, but maybe also tax-free zones to bring in much needed capital and human resources?

 

I can't help but see how many Indians (CEO's in big US companies) help India nowadays after their PM toured the Silicon Valley. Wouldn't the rich Greek diaspora do anything to help Greece?

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Friend of Greece, you are right, clean energy is another great option for Greece, especially with ann the sun Greece gets, and all the wind in the Aegean sea.

 

Software is an easy export, you can create it anywhere in the world and just ship it using the web to anyplace in seconds. In the last large corporation I worked for, most Greek-Americans  worked in the IT department, the talent exists here and in Greece.

 

I also wish that rich Greek-Americans would step up, but more so rich Greeks, the best way to help would be creating jobs.

 

Unfortunately, I did not come from money, so I am stuck in the rat race, still paying my student loans 18 years after graduation, mortgage, ... you get the idea. I wish I could go back and create some jobs.

The other thing missing is reform in Greece to make it really easy to start a new businesses. Some reform has started but not enough!

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Guest FriendofGreece

With software, you never know if it is going to be successful or not. Nowadays, there are so many needs for software anywhere. However, how many jobs would that create? Only the best will survive in that field, in my opinion. Also, you would need safeguards to protect the IP.

 

Yes, I agree that rich Greeks should help Greece too. Like you said, creating jobs is how to go about helping. People do not need social welfare, they need jobs to support themselves.

 

I think the Greek government should really ask for help and cooperation from the rich Greeks and diaspora to invest in whatever is needed. The country is selling off assets, and only foreigners buy them or manage them. It is a shame. But then, are there any rich Greeks left in Greece, and did they move all their money offshore already? I don't know how the fight against corruption and tax evasion is progressing, it has been a few years already. 

 

I think the reforms should accelerate. Does Greece have any plans for reforms other than those that are imposed by the EU (which did not work very well and were more damaging to the Greek economy)?

 

And I am sorry to hear about your financial difficulties. Certainly, student debt has gone exponentially high and they overcharge interest. Nowadays, university is so expensive that students graduate, saddled with debt and without jobs. I know parents who are not even keen for their kids to get a university education. Just go to a professional college, get a two-year degree of some sort and go out to work, then you just work up the ladder. 

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